4 Ways To Stay Full For Longer

Feeling hungry even after eating is fairly common. Nutritional deficiencies, wrong food choices, and not drinking sufficient water can cause strong food cravings. Here are 4 eating habits to practice every day to feel satisfied and full.

By D Tejaswi
25 Jul 2022

Your stomach is rumbling. You are slightly uncomfortable. You are just beginning to feel the signs of hunger. But you just had your food. Feeling hungry a few hours post meal is fairly common. A study published in Nature Metabolism that collected responses from over 1000 respondents found that people who experience big dips in blood sugar levels, several hours after eating, end up feeling hungrier and consuming hundreds of more calories during the day than others. “the way you eat, choice of food, the gap between meals affect your food satisfaction and fullness,” says Dr. Nikita Suresh, Nutritionist, Bengaluru, with over 10 years of experience in guiding people to eat better. Here are 4 ways to feel full for longer.


Get your protein

“Include protein in every meal. The source of protein could either be plant-based or non-vegetarian,” says the nutritionist. Protein increases the production of peptide YY (PYY), a gut hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied. In one study published in American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 2005, increasing protein intake from 15 per cent to 30 per cent of calories made overweight women eat 441 fewer calories each day without intentionally restricting anything. It begs a question, how much protein should you aim for! The Indian Council of Medical Research recommends 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your weight. Some of the most healthy forms of protein include egg whites, cottage cheese, lentils, tofu, low-fat milk, beans, peas and unflavoured greek yoghurt.


Related Story: Five Easy Ways to Add More Protein to Your Vegan Diet


Focus on high fibre

Fibre contains an anti-appetite molecule called acetate. When it’s released you begin to feel full and you don’t want to eat more, says the journal Nature Communications, 2020. Acetate travels from colon to the liver and heart, finally reaching to hypothalamus region, the area of the brain that deals with hunger, finds the study. So, the more you eat fibre, less likely you are to binge eat. “While one of the most easy ways to stay full for long is to include complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds in your diet, says Dr. Suresh, you should focus on eating foods such as oatmeal, beans, lentils andapples. These are rich in fibre, help satiate your appetite. So, what’s the right time of the day to eat fibre? “A good rule of thumb is to have 5-7 grams at each meal and divide the fibre goals over the course of the day.” The point is to not overdo it at any one meal, she adds.


Drink more water

A study published in Psysiology and Behaviour, 2008, finds that 37 per cent people mistake thirst for hunger. The truth is most symptoms between thirst and hunger overlap. Symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headache are common between thirst or hunger. The key is to listen to your body signals and have water anyway. If it was hunger for real, you would still have a hunger pang, or else you would feel satisfied with water. “Infact drink water throughout the day. As a rule of thumb drink 8-10 glasses in a day. Water has no calories, but it helps burn more calories and keeps you full for longer, says Dr. Suresh.


Related Story: How to Tell if You’re Dehydrated: Symptoms, Myths and Facts


Have nutrient-dense snacks

Snacking helps curb your appetite, manage hunger and maintain blood sugar levels, says Nutrition Reviews, 2015. Nutrient-dense snacking includes protein, fibre and healthy fats in its composition often making it an ideal choice to keep you full throughout the day. “ Close to one-third of your daily energy intake comes from snacks. It is logical to choose energy-dense and nutrient-rich choices, "says the paper Snack food, satiety and weight. “Have hummus with veggies, popcorn, boiled corn, or a bowl of fruit. These are quick to make, easily available throughout the year,” adds Suresh. Be mindful of your portion sizes, and aim to stick to 150-200 calories when you snack.


Related Story: Four Golden Rules To Snack Healthy









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